Leadership lagging? Avoid shortcuts and find support

Leadership lagging? Avoid shortcuts and find support | practice (split each time) | Collaboration is great ... until it isn't
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April 9, 2024
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Leading the Way
Leadership lagging? Avoid shortcuts and find support
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When you feel like your leadership is lagging, avoid taking what Scott Cochrane calls "shortcuts," such as implementing new policy, reorganizing your staff or losing your cool and instead remind yourself that being a good leader includes tackling the hard stuff. Cultivate the patience needed to do that work by learning from your failures, cutting yourself some slack and "surround yourself with supportive, positive people who encourage and uplift you during challenging times," writes Steve Keating.
Full Story: Scott Cochrane (4/4),  LeadToday (4/4) 
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Put it into practice: Rushing into shortcuts can make you feel like you're doing something, but can lead to disaster in the long run, Cochrane warns. Acknowledging that it's okay to make mistakes and slowing down long enough to pay attention to your thoughts and moods can move you into a better headspace where you can lead more effectively, Keating adds.
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Collaboration is great ... until it isn't
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Insisting on collaborating on every project or decision can lead to groupthink, while too little collaboration can make members of your team feel left out or ignored, writes Paul Thornton, who recommends finding balance by considering the complexity of the problem, who to involve and whether it's a time-sensitive matter. "When you engage in the right amount of collaboration, you produce better ideas, make better decisions and you don't waste people's time," Thornton notes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (4/8) 
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Put it into practice: You'll know you've found the right collaborative mix when you hear your team say it improves the quality of decisions, makes them feel valued or builds teamwork skills, Thornton writes. If you're not hearing this, Thornton counsels you to "[b]e willing to alter your approach and try some new techniques."
Read more from Paul Thornton on SmartBrief on Leadership
Smarter Communication
If you want a co-worker to take more initiative, begin the conversation by asking about their work preferences and what they might need from you before sharing your request that they improve the quality of their work, writes leadership development expert Karin Dye. Schedule a time after the conversation to follow up to ensure progress and celebrate small wins, Dye writes.
Full Story: Let's Grow Leaders (4/5) 
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Put it into practice: Before talking to a co-worker you feel needs to step up their game, consider things from their view -- do they get the job done, but too slowly for your taste, or do they move too fast and make mistakes? Dye recommends thoroughly thinking through what you need from them beforehand to find the best approach to have your request heard and acted on.
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What portion of your team works remotely?
We're 100% remote
 14.61%
We're 75-99% remote
 13.78%
We're 50-74% remote
 15.70%
We're 25-49% remote
 16.25%
We're less than 25% remote
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Staying connected. Forty-three percent of you are spending more than 50% of your time working remotely, as are your teams.

While the benefits of remote work are clear (less wasted time on travel, saving money, having freedom to work in a comfortable environment), it presents an ever-increasing leadership challenge. It is hard to substitute for real human connection. While video chat can help with that, there are interactions that don't translate (like body language, facial expressions when someone has their camera off or is one of many squares on a crowded screen, etc.).

Your job as a leader is to find ways to stay connected to your team beyond those superficial video, email or chat interactions. A team member that feels disconnected from the organization can suffer morale issues and present a productivity or even attrition risk. Spend some time today connecting more deeply with your team members to keep them engaged.

-- Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN -- the firm's e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."
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In Their Own Words
Honest Company's Carla Vernon on leading with resilience
Vernon (Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
The Honest Company CEO, Carla Vernon, has spent her career in increasingly high-level leadership positions that have required her to prove herself from the outset in each new role to win credibility and the trust of employees and investors. "We're not as accustomed to imagining women and brown people at the helms of business," says Vernon, who eschews blame and stays resilient. "In my mind, I'm like, 'don't worry, you won't doubt me for long. This is going to be great and it's going to be fun.'"
Full Story: BBC (4/3) 
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Daily Diversion
Despite visa issues, health troubles and an armed robbery, 27-year-old Russell Cook, a British man whose nickname is "Hardest Geezer," has completed a 352-day odyssey of running the entire length of Africa, arriving in Tunisia this past weekend. After running the equivalent of a marathon each day, at the end of the journey, Cook said he was "pretty tired" and looked forward to enjoying the one thing he craved -- a strawberry daiquiri.
Full Story: BBC (4/8) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
Which of these artists was NOT born in Russia?
VoteMarc Chagall
VoteErte (born Romain de Tirtoff)
VotePeter Carl Faberge
VoteRene Lalique
About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
I don't know about anyone else, but if I had run the length of Africa (which is unlikely since running the length of my street would be a stretch), I would want more than a strawberry daiquiri. I imagine I'd like a long bath or shower, a full-body massage and a year-long nap.

Cheers, though, to the Hardest Geezer.

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Trust in yourself, embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and strive to become the best version of yourself.
Kimberly Washington,
entrepreneur, founder of Space4Girls
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